In today’s economy and much of the workforce on edge mentally due to mounting bills and the threat of losing it all, workplace violence is always a concern in the Human Resource department. There has been story after story about shooting, hostage, and robberies by current and past employees. This leaves many wondering what steps can be taken to ensure their company does not fall victim to this. Workplace violence is a very real and devastating concern with over 750 workplace murders in the U.S. alone since the 1980s.
Many HR managers feel they should have been able to see signs of the disturbed employee, but in truth, unless a psychological test was given to every employee this is impossible, most of the time. However, there is a certain profile in an individual that can lend to spotting potential troubled employees.
What to look for:
- Caucasian Male
- Collects, talks about, fascination with, and actively uses exotic weaponry like an AK-47 or an UZI
- Often acts paranoid, overly anger, and is a loaner
- Extreme political or religious views
- Often seeks or talks about revenge plots when he feel wrongs, even for simple things like someone taking the last office treat
- Past history of violence
These signs are not set in stone, but have been developed by researchers in the law enforcement and criminal profiling industry. It is recommended for the HR department to create a crisis-management plan and have training in de-escalating aggressive situations. Also, there should be some type of security system in place with a panic button in case irate ex-employees return with the intension to exact revenge. The HR department in any size business can benefit from all so several of these tips. The more the situation can be controlled with potentially violent employees, the safer the workplace will become.